The change in weather and the arrival of pumpkin spiced everything can only me one thing: fall is here. Fall arriving signifies the upcoming holiday—the best one in my opinion—Halloween! Like many people, I like to watch themed episodes of shows or themed movies depending on the time of year. Without fail I always turn to my youth for ideas of what to watch each season and Halloween time is no exception. This list is for anyone who wants to throw it back to the days when Disney Channel was in its prime. Some of these were actually nightmare inducing, you’ve been warned.
13. Lizzie McGuire Halloween Episode
Lizzie McGuire was a staple in any 2000s kid’s life. It was funny, had Hilary Duff, and tackled real life topics—remember when you cried because Miranda thought she was overweight. However, one of the more iconic episodes was definitely the Halloween episode in which Miranda, Gordo, and Lizzie play a “Day of the Dead” prank on mean girl Kate.
12. That’s So Raven Halloween Episode
Not all of Disney’s Halloween episodes focused around being scary. In fact, That’s So Raven—arguably the funniest show Disney Channel has ever made—chose to not go scary but instead focus on what Raven and Chelsea did best: get into trouble. The two girls make a potion to get the best Halloween costume but instead turn into cows! Who could resist these zany antics and Raven’s catchphrase “Ya nasty!”?
11. Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
This is perhaps the least terrifying of the Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) but still very enjoyable. Starring Caroline Rhea (Aunt Hilda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Charles Shaughnessy (Mr. Sheffield from The Nanny), Rhea is a single mom whose kids try to save her from falling in love with a man they believe is a vampire.
10. Under Wraps
Also not the creepiest Halloween DCOM, but it’s still fun and enjoyable overall. It’s even cooler that this film is considered to be the very first DCOM! The film revolves around three kids who accidentally bring a mummy back to life on Halloween. The jokes are corny and the special effects are very 90s, but it is an easy ride!
9. The Scream Team
Before Kat Dennings was a “broke girl” on CBS she starred in this DCOM where she learns that her grandfather’s house is haunted and unknowingly releases an evil spirit onto the town! This was one of the DCOMs I remember being scared to watch as a kid! The creepy jump scares make for a fun, exciting movie.
8. Phil of the Future Halloween
I feel like Phil of the Future often gets forgotten about but it was a staple of Disney Channel’s lineup in the late 2000s. The theme song was catchy, the comedy goofy, and let’s be real—Pim was the sassy sister we all wanted. In the Halloween episode, Phil (Ricky Ulman) and Keely (Aly Michalka) are dressed as a two headed hockey player and discover that Debbie (a young Kay Panabaker) is actually a cyborg. Sit back relax and enjoy the crazy!
7. Tower of Terror
Used as a marketing gimmick for the ride release in Disney World, the film stars a young Kirsten Dunst as a girl who helps her uncle (Steve Guttenerg) stage horror stories. This time, however, when they visit the Hollywood Tower Hotel they come face to face with real ghosts. For those of you who have ridden the ride, the whole backstory you get is essentially the film. But dang, is it creepy for a kids film!
6. Even Stevens Halloween Episode
This episode of Even Stevens is truthfully disturbing! It revolves around the principle of Louis’s (Shia LaBeuf) school trying to turn all of the students into mindless, respectable students BY STEALING THEIR EYES! One of the most bizarre Halloween episodes involving buckets of eyes, zombies and so much milk. I remember watching this episode and being terrified! Even now when I see this episode I have vivid memories of being scared as a child. Well done, Disney Channel, well done.
5. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Halloween Episode
The best Halloween episode of a Disney Channel show is by far and away that of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Esteban along with the twins, Maddie, and London hold a séance to summon the ghosts that inhabit one of the rooms of the Tipton. Who can forget the iconic scene of Esteban channeling the spirits? This episode is both creepy but most of all hilarious!
4. Phantom of the Megaplex
Hands down one of the best DCOMs of all time! This is the story of a movie theater worker who has to stop a phantom who is turning the films playing at the theater into reality. A great mystery, so much fun, and don’t even deny the fact that you thought Taylor Handley was the cutest. This movie is just so enjoyable that it’ll have you smiling from ear to ear—especially when Mickey Rooney shows up as Movie Mason.
3. Don’t Look Under the Bed
We move from the funniest DCOM to the absolute scariest! Don’t Look Under the Bed was actually the first DCOM to get the TV-PG rating—which now doesn’t seem like a big deal—but as an 8 year old watching this film, it was basically rated R for horror. The movie is about a girl who must stop the boogeyman from reeking havoc on her life. The plot and characters were scary and to be honest even now I stay away from this film because of how badly it scared me. Just look at the picture above; that’s a whole lot of NOPE! Watch with the lights on, trust me.
For everyone who loved reruns of Sister, Sister on Disney Channel and also loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch, this movie is perfection! Twitches revolves around two twin witches (Tia and Tamara Mowry) who meet each other for the first time and discover they have powers. It is one of the most iconic Halloween DCOMs and the Mowry sisters elevate the film to a fun, whimsy watching experience! PS: The sequel is also good.
1. Halloweentown Series
Aside from the High School Musical franchise, the Halloweentown Series—except the 4th one where they replaced Kimberly J. Brown and I will never get over it—is the definition of iconic. Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Kalabar, magic, and of course the memorable lines like “Being normal is vastly overrated”. This is the one film series that is required viewing for all Halloween fans!
Most of these films and specials can be found on Youtube for free viewing! So grab your blanket, eat some candy corn, and relive your childhood with these Disney Halloween treats. To quote Marnie Cromwell: “Halloween is cool!”